The Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce the 2016 induction class on Saturday, and one of the finalists is former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens. He would seemingly have the numbers deserving of induction, but you never know how the voting will go down when the media members get together.
On Thursday, NFL Network had Super Bowl media availability for their personalities. I had a chance to check it out, and even get some time with former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci. He spoke on a variety of topics, but one thing I wanted to ask him was about his former wide receiver. I asked him point-blank, is Terrell Owens a Hall of Famer?
Yes, he is. He will get in. If it's not this year, it will be next year. If it's not next year, it will be the year after, but his numbers support Hall of Fame greatness. There's no debate about that, it's just a matter of if he will get the support from the people who are voting. They're the ones who will have to explain why they're going to vote for him or not. Does his body of work say Hall of Fame? Absolutely.
Matt Maiocco was on hand and played a bit of devil's advocate. He said, "A lot of people would say a Hall of Famer is someone that everyone wants to have on their team. TO, in his prime, teams shoved him out after a year or two because they thought they were better without him."
Mariucci definitely understood where he was going with that, and offered this response.
I had him longer than anybody. I had him for six years. (smile on his face, pause, someone says, "There's some stories going through your head"). We don't have enough time here. But I don't think I could say we we were better without him. I remember the game I suspended him for the star in Dallas. And I had my fingers crossed for the next game. Started J.J. and Tai Streets, and Arizona blitzed us I wanna say 64 out of 68 plays. And so, I would never say that we were better without him. I would not say that. Maybe have a little different harmony in the locker room, or whatever that is. But on the field, you needed that guy. He was very productive. After that game, after that suspension, for the next I don't know, year-and-a-half, or whatever it was, he was the best receiver in the league with his numbers. He played angry.
We'll find out Saturday afternoon what will happen with this year's Hall of Fame class. Ideally, we see both Eddie DeBartolo and Terrell Owens entering the Hall of Fame this coming August. Both are incredibly deserving.